A Guide to Electric Guitar Pickups

Electric guitar pickups are an essential part of getting the tone you want out of your instrument. Along with the different strings, pedals, wood types, amps and more that guitarists try, guitar pickups are key when it comes to the sound your instrument produces. Unfortunately for some musicians, getting into and learning more about guitar pickups may not seem like an easy thing to do. This short guide on electric guitar pickups will help you get started on your road to a perfected tone.


When it comes to electric guitar pickups, there are two main types to consider; single coil pickups and humbuckers (double coil). The main differences between the two lie in the type of tone that they produce and the type of sounds that they work with best. With single coil pickups, they usually produce brighter tones and work best with clean tones. In addition, single coil pickups produce more defined notes than that of humbucker pickups. Found on guitars like the Fender Stratocaster, single coil pickups are always a great option.

On the other hand, humbucker pickups are said to be the superior pickup in terms of electric guitar pickups. Producing warmer and deeper tones than single coil pickups, humbucker pickups also produce less hum and carry more sustain with each note. Humbucker pickups can be found on guitars such as the Gibson Les Paul.


Pickup position is also important when trying to pinpoint a certain tone. When looking at your guitar, it is important to know which pickup at what position produces what kind of tone.Normally, the pickup that is closest to the bridge of your electric guitar produces more bright tones with less sustain. The pickup that is closest to the neck gives off warmer tones with a longer sustain. Finally, the middle pickup is a great mix between both.

Playing around with the different pickups on your guitar will definitely give you a better understanding of how they work. Overall, it is up to you to figure out what sounds appeal to you the most and how to create that perfect tone.

Check out these links to find your favorite flavor of pickups!

Lollar Guitar Pickups

DiMarzio Pickups

Seymour Duncan Pickups

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